Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shame on UPS

   UPS denied our Wine Shipper application, denying us (a licensed and bonded winery) to mail our product. Why? Because of the word “cider.” They have further confused an already confused law stating: ciders above 7% abv are no longer “hard ciders,  instead, those ciders are to be considered and taxed as “apple-wines.” (Note that ciders naturally ferment to become +\- 7% depending on the year.)  Long story short: the federal government uses the word “wine” as an umbrella term, i.e. “fruit wine,” “dandelion wine”, etc.
   OK, we concede to the wine tax, wine regulations and all the restrictions that come with it, but that’s not enough.  Now we have to stop using the word “cider” too.  I repeat: We can’t call a cider a "cider."  If we can’t legally call the sky, “the sky,” then something is obviously wrong with the law.  But now UPS has taken it one step further and said they won’t ship our apple-wine either, so long as it has the word “cider” somewhere on the label!  Despite the fact that the federal TTB, the wine-label overseer, approved our wine label with the word “cider” on it, UPS takes still a harsher stand: erase-the-word “cider”.
   It’s a coward’s move.  They don’t want to take the time to navigate the federal blunder and so they run.  Shame on them for choosing to hide, UPS is erring on the wrong side of caution.  I can say with 100% conviction, that it hurts our small farm. Is that their intention?